Deference and Diplomacy

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Abstract

Authors’ moral rights throughout history have been protected in various degrees across the globe: French law honors authors’ rights to their particular individual creative expression as supreme and perpetual; German law considers an author’s moral rights and economic rights in equal measure; in Australia, moral rights, though only recently codified, are not transferrable as they can be in the UK if waived. While the overarching Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works promises to protect the personality and reputation of authors, the literary landscape is now more diverse, with cross-platform entertainment streams expanding subsidiary rights opportunities in ways not anticipated even a decade ago. This paper explores how publishers and authors are currently navigating the publishing process post contract negotiations. Do authors defer to having their work manipulated to increase exposure or sales? Are publishers and editors successful negotiators and mediators of multiple uses of creative content and the authors who are inextricably tied to the work? Ultimately, where are the lines drawn when considering moral rights and opportunities in a converged literary landscape?